What I want you to know: molestation can happen in plain sight

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest posts is written by Penelope.

what i want you to know

With all the hail storm brewing around Woody Allen and whether or not he molested Dylan Farrow, what I want you to know is just how easily a child can be molested.

One of my earliest memories -- I was around 4 years old, possibly even 3.  A large number of family members were crowded in a small house.  I remember running through the halls between the bedrooms, as I was playing with some cousins around my age.

And is that all it took? Watching a preschooler girl play? He must have been watching me from the doorway of one of the bedrooms. How long had he been watching? I didn’t notice – I was enjoying the stomping sounds my Buster Brown shoes were making on the hardwood floors.

Then – Did he grab me? Or did he just take me away by the hand?  I really don’t remember. It happened so quickly and so long ago.

I remember him rushing me into a bedroom, closing the door, locking it behind him – there was a large luggage trunk sitting up on its end. He picked me up and sat me on it.

And then it happened.

He quickly put me down, and said as he was zipping his pants up, “You go play now.” And I skipped out of the bedroom, anxious to get back to play with my cousins.

That molestation couldn’t have taken longer than 2 minutes.  That’s how quickly a child can be violated. I was molested in a crowded small house full of people. What I want you to know is that a child doesn’t necessarily have to be alone with someone to be molested.

I didn’t tell anyone for nearly 2 decades. I guess I didn’t fully understand how he had violated me – how that secret impacted me. To this day, I still haven't got my head around what could have driven this man to do this.  How in the world could he have been sexually excited with a preschooler?

What I want you to know is that I believe Dylan Farrow. Her story eerily resembles mine. The Connecticut police did a disservice to her and victims everywhere by not pressing charges against Woody Allen.

What I want you to know is that child molesters comes in all packages. A child molester can be a habitual criminal.  A child molester can be working class as my molester. A child molester can be a successful college coach such as Jerry Sandusky.

But also, what I want you to know is that a child molester can even be an A-list Hollywood director.


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